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Freedom of City for influential council members

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran
April 26, 2015 - 4:06 PM

KELOWNA - Three former City Council members who each influenced Kelowna in different ways during for the past 20-plus years were given the Freedom of the City Saturday evening.

Walter Gray, Robert Hobson and Andre Blanleil received the award during a gala, April 25, organized by community members to celebrate their contributions to the city during long careers as leaders in local government.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran presented the Freedom of the City on behalf of City Council, which voted unanimously to confer the award.

Mayor Basran said these three longtime City Council members each brought unique qualities to the job – “cornerstone qualities that raised the performance of entire Councils to new heights.”

“Walter is the consummate chairman of the board. His superior administrative and team-building skills enabled him to take big ideas and turn them into reality during his 12 years as mayor and 16 years on Council. His leadership and vision inspired Council to think big, be brave and believe in our ability to achieve great things.

“Andre’s plain-spoken approach to Council discussions kept his colleagues on their toes and City staff pencils well sharpened. His lifelong work in the local business and sports communities provided Council with valuable grassroots insights on decisions over 21 years that shaped our community into one that delivers high value for tax dollars.

“Robert brought a professional planner’s eye and an environmentalist’s heart to the Council Chamber for 26 years. His advocacy on behalf of park creation, a bicycle path network, transit and cultural services put Kelowna at the forefront of initiatives to create a safe and sustainable city.

The Freedom of the City is given to people who have made outstanding contributions to the City of Kelowna, or who have achieved the highest success in sport, culture, business or community service.

More information about the award is available under the Residents tab at

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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